Catalonia is an autonomous community on the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia (with the remainder Roussillon now part of France’s Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie). It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona. In the 10th century, the County of Barcelona became independent de facto. In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon. The de jure end of Frankish rule was ratified by French and Aragonese monarchs in the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258. The Principality of Catalonia developed its own institutional system, such as courts (parliament), and constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown of Aragon’s naval power, trade and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the later Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. During the last Medieval centuries natural disasters, social turmoils and military conflicts affected the Principality. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation.

Capital: Barcelona

Blog Posts:

Spain: Catalonia – Barcelona; Gaudí’s Casa Milà & Picasso

A day spent walking the street of the Spanish city of Barcelona in Spain\'s North East. We ...

Spain: Catalonia – Cadequés, Port Lligat; Dalí’s home

Today we set out at the crack of sparrows to reach the small fishing village of Port Lligat, where ...

Spain: Figueres – Teatre-Museu Dalí; Salvador Dalí museum

Reaching Figueres late morning meant we beat the rush for visiting the Teatre-Museu Dalí, which ...

Spain: Catalonia – Girona; 2 Day Itinerary

A couple of excellent days spent in the culturally rich city of Girona. This northern city in ...

Spain: Figures and Port Lligat – Salvador Dalí

Brilliance and craziness, reflected in the life’s work and lifestyle of this great artist I ...

Spain: Barcelona, Catalonia – 2 Day Itinerary

Barcelona is a beautiful city set on the Mediterranean sea. It embraces its Catalan heritage and ...
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